Celebrate Each Other

I’m writing this article in August to meet a September deadline to be in an October publication that is about the upcoming holiday season. And I wonder why I can’t figure out what day it is. It’s like when my wife asks me at breakfast what I feel like for dinner? I just want to enjoy my oatmeal—we’ll figure the rest out later!

While we move through life at the speed of light, we bounce from one event or activity to the other. I’ll bet most of us would forget to breathe if it wasn’t on a calendar or on our Apple watches. We plan to the point where we are concerned about the next event more than we are about enjoying the moment. I promised myself I would slow down and enjoy every moment. I won’t use the term “smell the roses” as this is Arizona and, at the time I’m writing this, it’s 110 degrees outside. I’m not going outside for anything, let alone to find roses to smell. I don’t think they even come out in this heat. However, I’ll gladly sit inside where the A/C is running and my fingers can fly (or in reality, slow walk) across the keyboard.

So here I sit thinking about the good times and good cheer coming up. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Diwali, Chanukah, Festivus, Christmas, New Years, and Kwanza. This is the time we all should mentally slow down a little, seize the day, enjoy, celebrate, and add to our memories instead of adding entries into our calendars. So how do we get off this treadmill?

I Have Some Ideas

Maybe, rather than just racing down the street to pull our cars into our garages, we stop and say hello to a neighbor. I only know a few by name, maybe I can ask the others who they are? Rather than posting an angry review that our table isn’t ready in a restaurant, we strike up a conversation with others waiting. This is Arizona. All you have to do is turn to the next person and ask where are you from?  That’s worth a minimum five-minute conversation which will make the wait time seem shorter and possibly make a new friend. Instead of complaining about your community on social media, we actually go talk to the community manager and ask for their help in resolving your issue. This one I have to warn you about. I did it and wound up volunteering to help. Just a few ideas to start a conversation about turning a moment from what I call digital to analog. Because isn’t enjoying the moment what the holidays are all about?

Which brings me to another idea. How about if, just for the holiday season, we put away these infernal devices that we can’t seem to take our eyes off of for a few moments every day.  Call it “me time”. Or my gift to myself. Give our eyes and necks a well-needed rest.

I need to practice this. I’m so guilty. Every couple of minutes I have to look at my phone, like if I miss a message the world will come to an end. I sit across the dinner table from my wife. She constantly looks at her iWatch while my eyes are buried in my phone. I swear our next family photo is going to only show the tops of our heads because that’s all anyone sees of us.

So how about if, for this holiday season, we learn to pick up our heads, look straight ahead, smile, and embrace every single waking moment of the upcoming holiday season in a way that makes us happy. That may be the greatest gift we can give ourselves and the loved ones around us. I know I would love to talk, share a meal or just spend time enjoying time with friends old and new. That would really make my holiday season. And we don’t have to worry about porch pirates stealing the boxes that good old interpersonal fun comes in because it’s not available on Amazon, there is no app to download, it’s free, and we carry it with us everywhere we go. We just have to remember to boot it up.

Let’s Celebrate

Now let’s get ready to celebrate good times. Remember to smile, breathe, laugh, enjoy, stay in the moment, and most importantly have a very happy and safe holiday season and New Year.  Be sure to text or email me with any questions. Or better yet, call and we can meet for coffee.

Rob Reichstein
Communications Chair
Desert Ridge Community Association